There is the discussion that senior women shouldn’t wear black. It would enhance the wrinkles. There is the saying that blondes look great in black. There is the saying that black is a classic. Now what? To wear or not to wear black? This post empowers women to look beautiful at any age in their beloved black clothing.
- In the 1960s Black Was Not for (Little) Girls
- Why Black Can Easily Become a Camouflage in Midlife
- Black OOTD with Pop of Color
- You Can’t Go Wrong with A Little Black Dress
- Black Sheaths Are Cameleons in the Closet
- Dress Down a LBD with a Denim Shirt
In the 1960s Black Was Not for (Little) Girls
When I was a child and I was asked for my favorite color my answer was black. The adults never liked this answer and some of them even said that black is not a color. It could not be that a little girl loves black. They said things like why not yellow that looks great with your black hair, or red is a color for girls. Well my answer on the yellow was that my hair is brown, not black.
I still do not understand why the Germans would call my ash brown hair black. On the red color, little Nicole responded that there is nice and ugly red, but there is just beautiful black. It is safer than red. What I meant with this statement was that I liked and still like every cold red, but not any warm red. Unfortunately, for my mother red was red. Probably because she had worked in business administration she seemed to favor muted colors. This means she bought the “ugly” red.When in doubt wear black. #styleadvice Click To Tweet
One day she knitted skirt suits for my sister and me. My sister got the nice black one because it looks so great with her blonde hair, while I got the red one, which of cause had the “ugly” red. The black washed my sister out, the warm red made me look sick. Note that my mother is color blind so she may see colors in a totally different way. I assume that we looked great in her eyes in our skirt suits. We got a lot of compliments on them. Today I understand that it was because she did a really excellent job crafting them. It was not because the suit skirts made us look great.
In the last century, black was for widows to be worn in the year after their husbands passed away. It was the color of adult Protestants going to church. Kids would only wear it as Sunday’s Best when they were very light blond (like my sister), almost platin blond. Thus, I wasn’t eligible for black. Learn more on the history of wearing black.
Why Black Can Easily Become a Camouflage in Midlife
Just look around at what 40+ women wear a military ball. Most of them wear a black, classic gown. Many of them make this color choice to look leaner than they are. Since the majority applies this dressing trick, they seem to look all the same. Another example is the metro, tram, bus, airport, you name it. It’s a sea of black coats when you just look at mature women. Sure it’s a posh evergreen choice. And yes, many feel comfortable to blend in rather than stand out.
Wear the color intentionally, not to to hide.
Black OOTD with Pop of Color
I still love black. Ever since I lived in New York State, I love all black with a touch of another color. A monochrome outfit can become pretty boring when there is no interest added by texture. Learn more on creating interesting monochromatic looks.
The above outfit features black leather pants (smooth, a little bit of shine), black corduroy shirt (texture, no shine), and black wool blazer (no texture, no shine). The silver pumps that have a fin imprint like the scales of a fish. They reflect the light and have texture.
Silver together with black is a statement. Gold with black is a classic.
When styling a monochromatic outfit without texture the idea is to create an all neutral look with a pop of color for interest. Which midlife woman wants to be invisible? Not you! 😉
For a styling lesson on non-boring all neutral looks see the post at the link.
You Can’t Go Wrong with A Little Black Dress
… is what Mademoiselle reportedly said. A LBD dress is very versatile for many dressing situations. It can be styled for the office, a party, running errands, going out for dinner and even for browsing the beach stores on vacation.
Every woman owes herself to own a LBD.
On my 5 ft 4 (1.63 m) frame, the dress hits below the knee (see last two photos in this post). The cut permits adjusting the length with a belt to around or just above the knee. Since the fabric is thin enough to not bulk, you can belt the LBD to the length of the sweet point of your legs (see work outfits in this post). When you have got great legs, you may knot the hem to show them off when walking along the beach on vacation (see photo above). However, when your knees are on the wide side, the dress will cover them perfectly. Adding accessories on your upper body draws the eyes up.
A LBD is always appropriate. #quote Click To Tweet
Black Sheaths Are Cameleons in the Closet
No matter what color, jumpers are a great investment. They add so much possibilities to a wardrobe. You can even wear a sheath as skirt, or as a downscaled dress suit vibe by wearing a sheath with a cardigan. Sheath dresses are sort of chameleons, especially when they have a classic cut in a neutral color or black. They can go from a professional outfit in a corporate style like shown above to dinner when paired with some bling.
Next an example look with a wool sheath dress, wool blazer, tights and Mary Janes, of course, all in black. The black printed silk scarf “pop of color” with its classical gold bows and red roses print. This dress with blazer combination makes a chic business casual work outfit at any age.
Dress Down a LBD with a Denim Shirt
Underneath I wore my LBD with a denim shirt with rolled up sleeve – recall it is spring – and my polka dot tights and blue patent leather L.K. Bennett pumps. Black sheaths are really versatile. The brooch shown below is a DIY. I made it in graduate school in a recreational silver smiting class.
What is your favorite color? Has it changed since your childhood? If so, why did it change? What is your greatest challenge wearing black?
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Photos: G. Kramm
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